RA & Pets: How a Little Dog Named Sadie Changed My Life

Vanessa Collins Health Guide
  • Sadie Resting


    The sky is dark.  Maple limbs are ha­­­nging low from the weight of rain resting on their green and yellow canopies.  It is fall in Missouri.


    Some people would call our current weather gloomy.  I find it to be a soft, cozy and comforting afternoon.


    Sadie, my Toy Fox Pinscher puppy, is playing with cat toys.  I hear a little plastic ball jingling as she chases it around our living room. 


    Sadie came into our lives on August 2, 2014.  She was nine weeks old when I drove past  a woman in our local Walmart parking lot.  The woman had a big crate in the back of her car.  The woman's hatch back was open, and I thought I saw puppies!

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    August 2nd was a Saturday.  I was running errands while my husband was at church preaching.


    I drove around the parking lot twice, straining to see exactly what the woman had in the back of her little car.  I decided I needed to get closer. 


    I drove around the parking lot for the third time and pulled my little truck alongside the woman's vehicle.  It was then that I spied Sadie, along with two of her littermates.


    I couldn't stop myself from getting out and taking a closer look.  My mind was telling me to pass on by, but my heart urged me out of my truck.


    There was no sign that said, "Free Puppies."  There was no sign that said "Puppies For Sale."  I asked the woman standing there what kind of puppies she had.


    She explained to me that the mother of the pups is a Fox Terrier.  The pups' father is a Min Pin.


    At the time, I didn't realize that Sadie and her brothers and sisters are "designer dogs", or "hybrids."  I just fell in love with those brown puppy eyes, and that little wagging tail. 


    I am sixty years old, but I have never had a puppy of my own.  My husband and I do have three cat rescues.  They make us smile, and are very loving.  Still, my heart longed for a puppy.


    I held a couple of the pups in the crate, and then put them down.  I told the lady I would be back.  I went back to my truck and called my best friend, who lives in Oklahoma.


    Mischelle is an animal lover, too.  She has a Shorkie named Gracie. Shorkies are half Shih Tzu and half Yorkie. 


    I remember when Mischelle was thinking about rescuing a pet form the local shelter.  I urged her on.  I thought a pet would be great company for her.  It turned out to be a perfect match. 


    Mischelle asked if I thought my husband would be onboard with having a puppy in our home.  I remember telling her that he indulges me to a fault, so he probably would be fine with it.


    I told my best friend I really wanted this puppy.  Mischelle did what any best friend would do.  She told me to go for it.  And so I did!


    The lady who had the puppies gave Sadie to me.  She didn't charge me anything.  I found out later that this little hybrid puppy can cost as much as $800.00, and that they are difficult to find.  I didn't care if Sadie was a sought-after pup.  I just wanted to bring her home with me and love her.


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    That evening I walked into the side door of our church after Mass had ended, looking for my husband.  He did a double take when he saw Sadie in my arms, but then he smiled.  I smiled, too.


    Sadie has brought laughter and warm snuggles to our home.  At times, she wags her

    little tail so hard that her entire body wiggles.


    I must say that it took time for me to adjust to a new puppy.  I read about puppies, I talked to Mischelle about puppy training, and I talked to my friend Sally.  Sally trained puppies for 50 years.  She trained them to be service dogs.


    Mischelle's and Sally's guidance kept me going when I thought I would never figure out how to be a good "puppy mom."  They explained to me how to teach Sadie basic commands.  They helped me with the issue of incessant puppy chewing.  I don't know what I would have done without them.


    The great thing about this whole experience is that Sadie has enriched my life.  She makes me laugh out loud sometimes.  She is always here.  She is always loving.


    Sadie is great company for me when my husband is out of town on a business trip.  Having a puppy in the house is definitely an uplifting experience.


    An added plus is that Sadie keeps me moving.  I get up off the couch, even when I am hurting, for Sadie.  I won't do that for myself.


    Sadie needs to go on walks.  Sadie needs training.  Sadie needs play time.  Sadie needs bathed every other week.  I move so much more since Miss Sadie Mae Collins came into my life.


    Sadie is sitting by me now on the couch.  She is wearing her Ohio State University sweatshirt because she gets cold easily.  She is asleep on the couch pillows.  Just looking at her makes me smile.


    There are all kinds of pets that offer unconditional love to their human parents.  There are cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, and many more.  When choosing  pets you do need to evaluate your ability to care for them, but don't sell yourself short.


    Last summer, before I had Sadie, I could only walk 100 feet at a time.  I have had Sadie for two months and I am walking up to a quarter of a mile a day.


    I am getting stronger because Sadie needs me to walk with her.  I won't let her down.  I, on the other hand, need her unconditional love and comical personality.  We make a good team. 

Published On: October 02, 2014